Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Comey associate confirms Trump asked for loyalty


He said he wouldn't allow Comey's departure to hinder progress of the investigation, nor would he provide the White House with updates.

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" the president tweeted.

Trump's behavior raises "the specter of possible intimidation and obstruction of justice", wrote Reps.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed the report and said the president would "never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty". "I won't talk about that". Mere days later, Rosenstein penned the memo condemning Comey that President Trump used as justification for his firing.

"I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally - and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system", said James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. Trump tweeted. "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

The White House refusal to elaborate left open several questions: Had Trump, as his predecessor had in the 1970s, been covertly taping conversations? Was he suggesting Comey had recordings? Comey has not explicitly denied the account.

The FBI director serves a 10-year term but can be replaced by the president.

On Friday, a person close to the former director recounted a different version.

Once Comey uttered those words, President Donald Trump could not fire him - absent proof of criminal conduct or unethical behavior - without creating the appearance of impropriety or the appearance of undermining the investigation.

Trump told Comey on Tuesday he was being dismissed in order to restore trust and confidence in the agency. The associate spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of a private conversation.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the tweet right off the bat during Friday's press briefing.

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The next day, however, Trump said he had been considering firing Comey for a while, and that Rosenstein's memo had sealed the deal.

"I think the process is going to go quickly". And I said I'll consider and we'll see what happens.

It was not clear when Comey would speak for himself. Mr Comey earlier declined an invitation this week to give evidence in a closed hearing.

The face-to-face meeting between the president and the director raised other concerns.

The first candidate has already been interviewed. "Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and still does to this day".

A look at key moments in Comey's tenure, the lead-up to Trump's decision to fire him and developments since then.

Trump was scheduled to leave Friday for his first overseas trip as president. Trump said in an interview with NBC that the Russian Federation investigation factored into his decision to fire Comey.

"So I don't know if there was collusion or not", he continued.

Even before Trump's provocative tweet, the White House was scrambling to clarify why Comey was sacked. Starting with Spicer's claim that the media inaccurately portrayed the size of Trump's inauguration audience, there have been questions about whether the administration is knowingly providing inaccurate information.

The White House also shifted its stance on whether Comey's termination had anything to do with the Russian Federation investigation, at first saying it was not linked. But he called Trump's tweet "inappropriate". John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate leader and a former state attorney general. Four candidates - Cornyn, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, attorney Alice Fisher and judge Michael Garcia - have interviews scheduled Saturday.

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